Southern California native Taylor had no choice but to love landscape design: something's always in bloom. Several years ago, she took a shovel to her front lawn and replaced it with lots of drought-tolerant plants, ornamental grasses, succulents, and various types of hardscaping. Along the way, she's evolved into an environmentally conscious landscape designer.
Taylor lives with her family in a midcentury modern house with an authentic 1964-built swimming pool in dire need of renovation. It — along with dozens of other projects — is on the Taylors' do-it-ourselves, hopefully-sometime-soon list. She also collects and sells vintage patio furniture.
Taylor has written for numerous publications, and websites including the Los Angeles Times, Emmy, Westways, L.A. Times Magazine, and Houzz.com. She's also written/edited for the Screen Actors Guild, PBS and MBI Publishing. Prior to freelancing, she was an editor/writer for KCET (PBS)) and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Taylor is a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Garden Conservancy.
Taylor has a B.A. in Fine Arts and Art History from the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She has a certificate in landscape design and also is certified in fine and decorative arts appraisal from the University of California, Irvine.
By Lisa Hallett Taylor:
As people downsize and houses get smaller, outdoor living spaces have grown in importance. The outdoor room is a much-needed retreat, and it needs to look and feel good. Many outdoor projects are DIY — accessible to anyone, at any skill level. The size of your space doesn't matter: a petite plot near an apartment door is just as significant as a massive, multi-level deck.
Don't be afraid to attempt a project: if you can follow directions and not take yourself too seriously, you can dig-in to the DIY world. My first garden as an adult consisted of yard-sale windowboxes perched on the second-floor landing of my apartment in L.A. I realized you can create an outdoor retreat almost anywhere, and those lowly flower boxes ignited an interest that has become a passion. You've got to start somewhere.
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